New Nigerian Covid-19 survey may mean millions already infected

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Issued on: 23/02/2021 – 19:03

New surveys carried out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) suggest that Covid-19 infections could be considerably higher than the number of confirmed cases, with more than a fifth of Nigerians in some states testing positive for antibodies.

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Millions of Nigerians could possibly be infected by the novel coronavirus, in stark contrast to the country’s 152,000 confirmed cases, according to analysis of the study, which was carried out between September and October 2020.

Blood samples from more than 10,000 people were collected across four states and then tested for the presence of Covid-19 antibodies.

Antibodies were present in 23% of people in heavily populated Lagos State and south-central Enugu State. Nineteen percent of people tested positive in Nasarawa State, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, and 9% in northern Gombe State.

“I am surprised that it is as high as 20%,” said Adeniyi Fagbamigbe, an expert in medical statistics at the University of Ibadan. “This is shocking and it’s dangerous for the control of the pandemic,” he added.

The results also showed that more men tested positive compared to women, and urban areas had a higher rate of infections in contrast to rural areas…

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